Chile will host the 2020 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) as decided near the end of this year’s edition in Katowice, after Brazil stepped down citing financial issues.
“We will have the great responsibility of leading and advancing toward a better control of climate change and global warming,” Chilean President Sebastian Piñera told the press after the announcement.
The next summit was expected to take place between November 11 and 22, 2019, but Piñera said it will be in January 2020.
The rumors were first confirmed by Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Costa Rica’s environment and energy minister, speaking to EFE during the summit in Poland, and highlighted the importance for the summit to remain in Latin America after Brazil’s decision.
“Chile, Costa Rica and other countries in the region agreed to support Chile to host the COP25,” said Rodriguez.
Brazil withdrew its candidacy to host the 2019 COP25 conference citing budget limitations, but environmental groups understood the move as a favor to the incoming government led by the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who has promised to pull out the South American giant from the Paris Accord on climate change.
Bolsonaro has also vowed to to remove restrictions on the agribusiness sector accused of causing untold devastation to the environment. In particular, the Amazon rainforest, and by appointing career diplomat Ernesto Araujo as his future foreign minister, a man who says that climate change is a plot by “cultural Marxists” and a “dogma” to promote the growth of China.
Costa Rica was another strong candidate to host the summit, but it declined citing financial issues. However, the Central American country will still host a meeting in October previous to the summit, coordinating with Chile since the first months of 2019.
The summit takes place in a different region every year and Latin America is the next in line after this year’s summit in East Europe.
Rodriguez said that both Chile and Costa Rica have the “moral strength” to take the struggle against climate change “to the next level,” understood as “the full implementation of the 2015 Paris Accord, aiming to limit the increase of temperature clearly below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
The election of Chile is important because the host country plays a key role as mediator and organizer in the negotiations – a complex multilateral process in which thousands of people from about 200 national delegations participate.
This year’s summit began on Dec. 3 and is taking longer than expected. According to the Polish Environment Minister Henryk Kolwaczyk, the discussions about the implementation of the Paris Accords will go on until Saturday.
The issues being discussed are current efforts by every country in their fight against climate change, and financial aid for climate policies while setting new objectives for 2020.